US Treasury cautions Lebanese banks on Syria

The United States is urging Lebanese banks to take “extra” caution in handling financial transactions with Syria, to prevent the Assad regime and its supporters from stashing money abroad, a senior Treasury official said Thursday. “We want to be as careful as possible that the regime, its cronies, its allies that may be trying to […]

Syria buys grain via Lebanon to beat sanctions

Syria is importing significant volumes of grain via Lebanon to work around western sanctions and secure vital supplies, European traders told Reuters. The trade is not illegal because food imports are not included in sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and other Western countries on President Bashar al-Assad’s

Lebanon banks put expansion plans on hold

Lebanon’s well-capitalised banks have postponed plans for regional growth, after the Arab awakening closed off the window for expansion opened by the global financial crisis. The country’s banking sector is flush with cash but short of tempting opportunities now that formerly attractive markets such as Syria and Egypt are in political turmoil.

Billions in bank funds take flight from Syria

Close to 100 billion Syrian pounds (Dh6.41bn), almost a third of all funds on deposit, has left the Syrian banking system since the conflict began last year, The National can reveal. “We are in the danger zone, but it could get much worse,” said an official at the country’s stock-market in Damascus. “The crisis in […]

Lebanon Banks: Salameh raises goal for capital adequacy

Lebanon plans to raise the minimum level of top quality capital reserves held by banks to 12 percent within seven years, the Central Bank governor said Friday. Riad Salameh said he originally envisaged asking banks to raise reserves of Tier 1 capital to 10 percent – already significantly higher than the 7 percent required by […]